Children with immigrant backgrounds do not explain Pisa success

Immigrant children living in Finland scored as many as 50 points more than immigrants in other OECD countries.

Pisa success Of the participants in the Pisa 2006 survey, only three percent had an immigrant background, but their small number does not explain Finland’s high score. This was apparent when more detailed Pisa results were published.

Jarkko Hautamäki and Tommi Karjalainen, both Pisa researchers from the Centre for Educational Assessment, noticed that immigrant children in Finland scored as much as 50 points higher than the average in OECD countries.

According to the researcher, children in Finland have equal access to basic education, and the differences in quality between schools are the smallest in the OECD. Therefore, any variation between children’s school results is also small.

Claims that Finland’s Pisa results would be due to the high intelligence of the Finns as a nation are thus completely flawed.

The researchers stress that it is all down to the standard of education, tolerance, successful integration, and a real appreciation of education. Learning is in no way connected to a person’s ethnic origin or skin colour; what matters is whether education is considered important and whether it is justified that people trust in education to improve their lives.

Text: Niina Viitanen & Mari Peltonen
Photo: Veikko Somerpuro
15.2.2008
www.helsinki.fi/digitalcommunications

Translation: Valtasana Oy


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